Creating a valid will is the most common way to pass property on to others after your death. However, simply writing down your wishes on a piece of paper is not enough to ensure that your goals come true. There are strict rules concerning the construction of wills, and it is crucial to use precise language to help the probate process go as smoothly as possible.
To protect your family’s future and prevent future issues in probate, speak with a Lansing wills lawyer when drafting this important document. The skilled attorneys at Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC can help you take stock of your assets, identify your heirs, and create a will that has its intended legal effect.
A will is the most common form of a testamentary document. It tells the local probate court what you intend to happen to your property after your death. Additionally, a will usually nominates a personal representative. This person has an obligation under the law to properly pay your estate’s debts and distribute the remaining property to the designated heirs.
Once a probate court authenticates a will, it empowers the personal representative to take whatever actions are necessary to perform their role. A Lansing wills attorney can help the personal representative effectuate the terms placed by the decedent.
At the basic level, a will is a document that provides instructions for after a person’s death. However, state law outlines strict requirements for making wills legal.
The first requirement is the testator’s signature. According to Michigan Estates and Protected Individuals Code § 700.2502, either the testator must personally sign the will, or they must instruct another person to sign on their behalf and in their presence. Additionally, at least two witnesses must observe the testator sign the will and provide their own signatures on the document.
There must also be proof that the testator intended to create the document. Under Code § 700.2501, any person over the age of 18 and with sufficient mental capacity can create a will. A seasoned attorney at our Lansing office can further explain these rules for creating a valid will and help fulfill the requirements.
A will is a way to dictate what happens to an individual’s property after their death. This can include instructions for cash, physical property, real estate, and even business assets. To have maximum impact, a will should specifically name these items and the parties who will take control after the testator’s death.
The key concept here is specificity. Instead of saying, “I want my son to take ownership of my car,” it is better to say, “I want my son Jacob to take control of my 2015 Ford Focus.” A local wills attorney can help identify specific property and heirs to ensure that issues do not arise later on. Individuals who are planning their will should contact legal counsel for help drafting documents that clearly state their intent.
Creating a comprehensive will requires you to identify your assets, name your heirs, and nominate a personal representative to oversee the process. Let a Lansing wills lawyer help you at every step of the way. From day one, the skilled legal counsel at Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC will work to understand your needs and craft documents to fulfill them. Call us today to get started.
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